Top-5: Martin Jõela (Frotee, Tallinn)

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Martin Jõela and Erki Pruul are guys behind awesome Frotee label, we put almost every its release into our monthly tops — it’s so good. And today we’re super happy to present Martin’s selection of records he recently bought!

Rapsodia — When Music Is Born LP [1985, Melodia]
Discogs / Youtube

It was in front of first crate I saw at flea market out of Tallinn few weeks back. So I already knew it had been worth to take the trip. I learned about this record only this summer, when my Finnish friend recommended it to me. Rapsodia is known among Soviet groove fans for their cover version of Deodato’s version of «Rhapsody in Blue». I hadn’t really picked up their later album, it is mostly pompous popmusic as expected, but there’s few nice instrumentals. One is really good long original fusion track «The Time is Running». I love collecting Melodija (and east-euro records) records. It’s easy to buy cool records online, but it’s more satisfying to find and discover great music from records that are around you.

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Joe Thomas — Feelin’ From Within LP [1977, Lester Radio Corporation]
Discogs / Youtube

Also what I like about digging in Estonia is that it’s pretty unexpected what you could find next to boring Melodija records. Same box with Rapsodia LP had also few italo singles and few US funk LP etc. I was happy to find this album by American flautist Joe Thomas, because it has the wonderful moogy jazzfunk track «Polarizer». I had learned about it many years back, when I found his later LP from Tallinn and internet said that he has even better record.

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Les Ambassadeurs Internationaux — Les Ambassadeurs Internationaux LP [1982, Celluloid]
Discogs / Youtube

While I still find Estonian and Eastern-European music exotic and interesting enough, I can’t deny that I’m secretly fascinated by music from Africa. And you don’t have to buy those expensive records to enjoy musical culture from African countries, there’s plenty of good cheap records around. This album was recommended to me by my friend Fredrik, who has just released compilation of Somalian music «Light & Sound of Mogadishu» under his label Afro7. Les Ambassadeurs Internationaux is group from Mali. I love two songs off this album, groovy hypnotic «Wassolon-Foli» and this bit reggae-influenced «Bara Willile» with cool synths.

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Clannad — Magical Ring LP [1983, RCA]
Discogs / Youtube

Record world might look sometimes very antisocial, but actually I have met many great persons thanks to record collecting. One guy from Ireland was buying some Frotee releases from me and later sent me Clannad record as a gift! This LP has beaufiful version of «I See Red». Feedback for Frotee’s release of Estonian version of «I See Red» by Velly Joonas has been overwhelming. I’m happy we can share this version with world.

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A. Pakhmutova — My Love Is Sports LP [1980, Melodia]
Discogs / Youtube

I was in Viljandi few weeks back, my friend and label partner Erki organized music festival over there. On second day many flea markets and yard sales took place around town. Actually I even didn’t get out that early, but I scored pretty well at first market I visited. Among finds was rare Estonian jazz album, but this one was the coolest, as I had been looking for picture cover version of this LP. It’s quite dreadful soundtrack compilation with sport-themed songs from Russia, but there’s a track called «Temp», which is very uptempo disco song with cosmic breaks and cool synths.

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Texts & pics Martin Jõela